Unofficial results for Tuesday’s University of Colorado Board of Regents 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary showed Callie Rennison winning in a landslide.
Rennison had 53% of the votes late Tuesday, with Dave Gross taking 28% and Aaron Harber taking 19%.
Among Boulder County voters the margin was slightly smaller, with Rennison receiving 49% of the votes, Gross with 32% and Harber remaining at 19%.
Rennison is a University of Colorado Denver professor in the School of Public Affairs. She campaigned on making college more affordable and accessible, increasing diversity, bringing together different sides to solve problems and addressing sexual violence, harassment, bullying and discrimination in the university system.
Rennison said she was surprised when the first results were released and saw she was leading by such a wide margin. Rennison said while she felt like she was the best candidate, she was nervous about Gross’ and Harber’s large loans to finance their own campaigns.
“I am so grateful for the voters who voted for me, for the people who donated to me — even as little as $5 when it was really a stretch for them,” she said. “It was so meaningful to have a grassroots campaign and it gives me hope.”
“I think having a healthy primary is good, and we raised a lot of issues for the CU community, and I intend to focus on every one of them,” she continued.
Gross is a senior instructor at CU Boulder, associate chair of the Finance Department and faculty director of the Master’s Finance Program at the Leeds School of Business.
In his campaign, Gross prioritized college affordability and accessibility, CU’s economic connection with local communities, safety, inclusivity, research and athletics.
“The party is in good hands with Callie Rennison,” Gross said. “I know she’ll fight for affordability, accessibility and equity. I respect her as a colleague, and the party is in good hands.”
Harber, host of “The Aaron Harber Show” on PBS, campaigned on reducing student debt, increasing transparency, supporting athletics and that he was not a university employee.
In an email, Harber congratulated and endorsed Rennison.
“I was pleased to have been able to raise a number of key issues about the University, especially in regard to the need for greater transparency so the entire community could better see how decisions are being made,” Harber said. “I hope the Regents find a way to work together to solve the severe challenges which the pandemic will continue to present over the next several years.”
The 2nd Congressional District is currently represented by Regent Linda Shoemaker, a Democrat, who was elected in 2014 and is not seeking a second six-year term.
The 6th Congressional District CU Regent Republican primary was also contested, with Richard Murray and Priscilla Rahn vying for the seat that represents Aurora. As of late Tuesday, unofficial results showed Murray leading with 66% of the votes and Rahn receiving 34%. That seat is currently held by Regent John Carson, a Republican, who was elected in 2014 and is not seeking a second term.